Carpet Types Explained
With the advances in technology, 95% of all carpet produced today is tufted. A roll of tufted carpet can be produced in an hour that would take 8 hours to weave. Hundreds of yarn-threaded needles are pushed through the backing fabric to form the loops of a tufted carpet, which may be left as loops or cut. A secondary backing is usually glued on for extra strength and stability. A wide variety of styles and textures can be then created using various techniques.
Berber carpets are similar in appearance to the thick woollen carpets made by the Berber tribes of North Africa and Asia. The loopy structure is made from thick or bulky yarns of wool, nylon, polypropylene or a blend of these fibres to give a cushioned effect. Berber carpets are available in a variety of colours and can be either level loop or multilevel loop.
A very flexible and durable carpet is produced when all the loops are created the same height giving a very natural casual appearance even though commonly made from synthetic fibres. The tight loop texture tends to disguise marks and therefore makes a loop carpet and ideal blend of luxury and practicality.
With a surface texture of varying loop heights creating an informal random appearance, multi – level loop carpets are very forgiving when it comes to marks and stains making them ideal for high traffic areas and busy family rooms.
Freize (pronounced fre-say) carpets are similar in texture to a saxony, but the yarns are more tightly twisted and should always be heat set. The densely packed, low pile surface creates a coarse pebbly texture which is both durable and good at hiding marks and stains making a very good carpet for high traffic areas and family rooms.
Saxony carpets are made of twisted yarns which should be heat set. Rather than blending together the tips remain very distinct forming a very elegant finish. Saxony textures have a tendancy to to show footprints and vacuum marks and are therefore more suitable for occasional rooms in the home.
The popular twist textured carpet is the cut-pile standard. The carpet yarn is tightly twisted and often heat set to retain this texture. The result is a versatile finish ideal for plain colours.
Velvet carpets, sometimes called ‘velour’ or ‘plush’ all have a level surface pile of approximately 5 – 10 mm depth which is then sheared to give a very fine finish. With very little twist in the yarn the ends of the fibres blend together further enhancing the smooth appearance. Velvet carpets tend to show footprints and vacuum marks and ‘shade’ with heavy use causing the carpet to look different because of the light reflecting off it. Velvets are a luxury for occasional rooms.
Cut and Loop
When some of the pile is cut to form a tuft and some left as loops a variety of surface patterns and textures is created. This multi – level surface is excellent for hiding footprints and marks making a cut and loop pile carpet ideal for heavy traffic areas and general purpose rooms in the home.
Bonded carpets, sometimes called ‘fibre bonded’ or ‘fusion bonded’ are created by firing fibres into and adhesive backing material – the fibres are not stitched into the backing in anyway. The technique is primarily used for commercial carpets.
Shag pile carpets have had varied popularity. The pile can be up to 50mm long and the structure of the carpet is very casual and loose but the surface flattens easily and lacks durability.